These Quotes From Trump Jr.'s 'Hannity' Interview Admit He Has Some Regrets
Following Donald Trump Jr.'s decision to release emails on Tuesday between himself and music executive Rob Goldstone, to arrange a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, the president's eldest son took to Fox News to talk with Sean Hannity. And because hindsight is 20/20, lines from the Hannity interview indicate Trump Jr. may have some regrets about how everything went down.
Throughout the interview, Trump Jr. described the emails (and subsequent events) in the context of the chaos of the campaign trail and repeatedly called the meeting (which he said lasted just 20 minutes) "a nothing."
However, he added that, had he anticipated the growing allegations of Russian collusion in conversations about the election, he might've handled the situation differently.
In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently. Again this is before the Russia mania, this is before they were building this up in the press. For me this was opposition research, they had something you know maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about, probably under reported for years not just during the campaign so I think I wanted to hear it out. But really it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was about.
Trump Jr.'s other comments, again, depicted a situation where in the "million miles per hour" whiplash speed of the election, he felt at the time that he was obligated to look into any potential intel. (Though, he emphasized that the meeting was so inconsequential that he never told President Trump about it.)
"Honestly, my take away when all of this was going on, is that someone has information on our opponent," Trump Jr. said. "We just won Indiana, but we're talking about a contested convention. Things are going a million miles per hour again and hey, wait a minute, I've hear about all these things, but maybe this is something, I should hear him out."
He later cited these missteps as part of his family's "learning curve" for the campaigning process.
Later, when he was discussing why he pursued the meeting, Trump Jr. said that, at the time, he "didn't know if there was any credibility" to the supposed intel, but that he simply responded to "something interesting."
Exasperated, he described his part in the exchange as similar to how anyone would reply to something in their inbox:
[S]omeone sent me an email! I can't help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly, and if there was something interesting there, I think that's pretty common.
As the more details emerge about the meeting and potential exchanges between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, Trump Jr.'s initial interview isn't likely to quell the desire from investigators to hear his testimony as soon as possible.